The manifesto is a rebuttal to Pope Francis’ joint document

Cardinal Walter Kasper has fiercely criticized the Manifesto of Faith document authored by Cardinal Gerhard Müller. Kasper has alleged that Müller wrote blanket statements and half-truths with the intention to confuse and divide the church. Müller was the former head of the doctrinal office of the Vatican. The manifesto, to the trained eye, reads similar to a correction of multiple doctrinal errors taught by Pope Francis.

The relation between Pope Francis and Cardinal Müller can only be described as frosty. The pontiff ejected Müller from his post of head of Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith which the latter occupied from 2012. Pope Benedict, the predecessor pope to Pope Francis, appointed him to the position. The present pope curtailed his duties in 2017. The manifesto, in many ways, takes a potshot at Pope Francis although it does not mention the pontiff by name. As to the reason why he wrote the Doctrine of Faith, he claimed many asked him to make a public testimony of truth at a time of increasing confusion concerning the Doctrine of Faith.

The Manifesto of Faith was released on February 8 instead of the scheduled February 10 date because a Polish website released its contents beforehand. The February 10 date was significant as it was the anniversary eve of the announcement made by Pope Benedict in 2013 about his abdication from the papal office. It was also the date of Cardinal Müller's own ordination into the priesthood.

The manifesto itself is considered as a kind of rebuttal to Pope Francis’ extremely controversial joint document made with an Islamic leader which states that religious diversity and pluralism are a will of God as per wisdom. Many believe that this kind of statement contradicts the message of Catholic faith. Cardinal Müller has taken a stand which could only be described as contrary. The manifesto is being released in multiple languages to a global audience. It is translated into seven languages as of now. It is expected to boost the affirmation of Orthodox Catholic faith.

Cardinal Müller, in the manifesto, has rejected the Islamic viewpoint of Christ being a prophet and not the Messiah. He stated that he simply wants to stop the relapse of Christianity into the old heresies which viewed Jesus Christ simply as a prophet, good person, a brother, and a friend. The list of other theological points mentioned in the manifesto are impermissibility of Holy Communion for remarried and divorced Catholics along with Protestants and the eternity of hell.

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